Car sales increased by 46% in January 2021 to 17,515 units in comparison with the same period of last year, according to data released by the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (Pama).

Car sales grew on the back of higher demand during January, said auto analyst Nabeel Dochki. The highest uptick in sales was enjoyed by Pak Suzuki Motor Company (PSMC), which was likely due to a change in production towards double shifts.

Moreover, a significant change in customer preference was also witnessed as the proportion of Hilux and SUVs increased from a historic average of 5% to 19% in the sales mix, driven by higher demand for Sportage and Tucson.

PSMC led the charge amid the new year euphoria with a massive increase of 62% year-on-year in sales, as per a Topline Research report. It was primarily driven by Alto, up 113% year-on-year, and WagonR, up 132% year-on-year.

Indus Motor and Honda Atlas Cars registered increase in sales of 36% year-on-year and 11% year-on-year respectively. Sales of Indus Motor were led by Yaris, which again outsold total Honda sales.

On a month-on-month basis, car sales jumped 26%, driven mostly by low interest rates and higher consumer spending, said AHL analyst Arsalan Hanif.

“Among new entrants into Pakistan’s auto space, Hyundai Nishat sold 515 units in January 2021 while Lucky Motor sold around 2,500 units, as per our channel checks,” said Topline Securities’ analyst Syed Fawad Basir.

On a month-on-month basis, the increase was driven by Honda Atlas, up 39% and Indus Motor, up 36% as the new year effect kicked in.

On the other hand, Atlas Honda recorded motorbike sales of 114,001 units in January 2021, up 20% year-on-year. In the seven months of financial year 2021, sales increased by 20% year-on-year.

Tractor sales in January 2021 were up by 135% year-on-year and 57% month-on-month. Millat Tractors recorded an increase of 195% year-on-year and 30% month-on-month while sales of Al Ghazi Tractors increased by 53% year-on-year and 290% month-on-month.

“Millat sales increased amid higher export orders and sales tax subsidy playing an important role,” Hanif added. “We expect the bullish sales momentum to continue due to lower interest rates and improving economy, resulting in better purchasing power parity.”

Reiterating the same, Basir said, “We expect demand for cars to grow stronger owing to a low interest rate environment and pickup in economic activity.”

Published in The Express Tribune, February 12th, 2021.

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